Muhammad Ali bid farewell
Thousands of people chanting “Ali” are lining the streets of the hometown of the “most famous American Muslim ever” Friday to say goodbye to boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who died last Friday at the age of 74.
Ali’s cherry-red casket, draped in an Islamic shroud, was placed in a hearse that is taking the body past sites that were important to him.
Ali will be buried in a private service at the Cave Hill Cemetery, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Former heavyweight boxing champions Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis are among the pallbearers for a memorial service, which will be televised from a sports arena in Louisville. Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell said Tyson was a late addition after finding out a prior commitment would not prevent him from attending. Grunnell also says Tyson was very emotional after learning of Ali’s death and was not sure whether he could cope with the emotions surrounding Ali’s funeral. Actor Will Smith, who was nominated for an Oscar for a movie portrayal of Ali, is one of the pallbearers as well.
Former president Bill Clinton and comedian Billy Crystal will eulogize Ali. Crystal’s accurate impersonation of Ali often left the champ doubled over with laughter.
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